You need the right gear for big-shoulders bluefin

"We are going for lifetime opportunities”

Happy bluefin landing on the Grande
  • Happy bluefin landing on the Grande
  • From the Grande Facebook page

Dock Totals Sept 3 – Sept 9: 4,672 anglers aboard 188 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 1,334 bluefin tuna, 696 yellowfin tuna, 345 skipjack tuna, 202 dorado, 2,500 yellowtail, 1,471 calico bass, 76 sand bass, 887 rockfish, 4 lingcod, 555 bonito, 49 barracuda, 29 sculpin, 176 whitefish, 90 sheephead, 11 halibut, 4 bocaccio, 6 treefish, 1 mako shark and 1 opah.

Bottom half of the Grande bluefin photo (see the top half above)

Bottom half of the Grande bluefin photo (see the top half above)

Saltwater: The big bluefin continue to embarrass unprepared anglers. Pacific bluefin tuna, pound for pound, are the toughest tuna, nay, toughest fish, to catch in range of the San Diego fleet. True, there are a few species of lower water column endemics such as pargo (usually found in waters near and below the Tropic of Cancer) and giant seabass that can be stubborn and hard to get away from the rocks. Wahoo and mako sharks can be speedy and are toothy enough to cut through all lines but wire. Swordfish can pull and pull in a long slow battle that can last an average work shift or two.

Bluefin tuna, on the other hand, have what anglers call big shoulders, and they are toothy enough to wear through the line given the amount of pressure they put on the angler and his or her gear with long hard and deep runs that end in a true battle of strength versus gear after an hour or three when using the right stuff. True, some of the bluefin caught are in the smaller 25 -45 pound range and maybe the big setups are not going to be bit as they can be by a line-shy fish, but would you rather catch a schoolie fish or a fish of a lifetime? We San Diegans do not get many chances to wrestle these gear-busters,

Listen to Captain James McDaniels of the Grande:

“The Grande checked in this morning with three big bluefin on the boat for about 15 bites. We can't stress enough that you need the right tackle, 60- to 130-pound outfits with two speed reels, flurocarbon, big circle hooks, 4 ounce torpedo sinkers, flat fall jigs and most important, the mindset that we are going for lifetime opportunities.”

Top boats of the week:

Sept 9 – The Aztec reported 28 yellowtail and 71 bluefin tuna for the 24 anglers aboard their 2 day trip.

Sept 8 – The San Diego called in with limits of 170 yellowtail anlong with 4 dorado and 2 bonito for the 34 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.

Sept 6 – 18 anglers aboard the Pacific Star 2.5 day trip caught limits of 72 bluefin tuna along with 47 yellowtail. The Ocean Odyssey reported limits of 54 bluefin tuna and 1 dorado for the 27 anglers aboard their 1.5 day trip.

Sept 4 – The Ranger 85 returned to the dock with 52 bluefin tuna for the 30 anglers aboard their 1.5 day trip. 24 anglers aboard the Topgun 80 caught 144 bluefin tuna, 6 yellowfin tuna and 70 yellowtail aboard their 5 day trip.

Sept 3 – 20 anglers aboard the Chubasco II boated limits of 100 yellowtail, along with 1 barracuda and 17 bonito.

Fish Plants: No plants this week.

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I much prefer tossing cans of albacore tuna into my shopping cart. It's quick, cheap, tasty and plentiful. ;-)

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